Local youth sports teams and D.C. United aren't the only ones hoping for some field space on the Quinn property at Old Lee and Braddock Roads. Westfield High is, too.
"Because of the number of teams Westfield's director of student activities, Francis Dall, has to field — partially due to Title IX requirements providing equal opportunity for girls' teams — he's running out of athletic space in a new school," explained Sully District Park Authority representative Hal Strickland.
"He has to close down one of his rectangular practice fields to build a 60-foot, girls softball field, so he's inquired about working with the Park Authority to use some of the Quinn property," said Strickland. "It's close to the school — about a half-mile — and they'd share the use of some of the fields there [with youth sports teams] because the high-school students would be off of them before the youth groups needed them."
Since 27 fields in Fairfax County parks are already being used this way by schools throughout the county, he said, it wouldn't be unusual. If all goes well with the current negotiations on this matter, said Strickland, Westfield athletes could use fields on the Quinn property as soon as this spring.
Since Westfield's football stadium doesn't have a track around it, unlike at most other schools, its track team practices around the field-hockey field. The school also has just one baseball diamond and one softball diamond, but has varsity and JV teams for each. And its 2 1/2 other practice fields on site must be shared by four lacrosse and four soccer teams — varsity and JV.
"We're also unique because, where we're located, we have no middle schools or parks around, like Centreville and Chantilly [high schools] have," said Dall. "So we're interested in working a partnership with some of the youth groups. We'd help them with some aeration and maintenance of the fields and would hold sports clinics for them. And they already use our baseball and softball fields in the summertime."
Dall said the coaches try to stagger practice times as best they can, but one practice field is smaller than the others, and "every third day, someone is stuck on it, so we mostly just do practice drills on it [and not games]. If we could get a couple fields for soccer [on the Quinn property], it would be an immense help."
<tgl> — BONNIE HOBBS